BOTKINS — A northwest Ohio man died this morning after the vehicle he was driving slid across the median and into the southbound lanes of Interstate 75 south of Botkins and collided with a semitrailer.
Bret Woods, 46, of Toledo, died from injuries suffered from the collision at 3:15 a.m. today, according to a trooper’s report from the Wapakoneta Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP). His wife, Bernadette Woods, was transported by Anna EMS to Lima Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Woods was driving north in a 2005 Chevrolet Astro van when he lost control of the van and drove across the media and into the southbound lanes of I-75 and collided with a 2012 Peterbuilt semitrailer driven by Dean Harris, of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. The semitrailer struck the driver’s side door killing Bret Woods.
The collision also ruptured the semitrailer’s driver side fuel tank, spilling approximately 200 gallons of diesel fuel onto the roadway. Harris suffered no apparent injuries in the crash.
A 2006 Freightliner semitrailer driven by William Hildebrand, 76, of North Freedom, Wis., was unable to stop his rig and struck the trailer of the first semitrailer. Hildebrand was transported by Anna EMS to Wilson Memorial Hospital in Sidney with non-life threatening injuries, the OSHP news release said.
A witness reported one of the semitrailers was hanging over a bridge that spans a small creek. Southbound traffic was still backed up for 5 miles at 7 a.m. today. Crews were working to keep diesel fuel from entering the creek below the bridge.
Officers with the Botkins and Anna police and fire departments as well as Anna EMS responded to assist with the crash. OSHP troopers handled the collision and Ohio Department of Transportation crews were called into help with traffic and Environment Protection Agency crews also responded to the scene.
Both collisions remain under investigation.